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NASCAR Cup: standings heading into regular-season finale at Richmond Raceway

Denny Hamlin celebrates in victory lane at Darlington Raceway after winning the Southern 500 on Sept. 3, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

Denny Hamlin celebrates in victory lane at Darlington Raceway after winning the Southern 500 on Sept. 3, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

By AMANDA VINCENT

The 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular season is winding down, with Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond (Va.) Raceway being race 26 on the schedule as the regular-season finale. Heading into Richmond, 13 drivers have playoff spots locked up by virtue of race wins, leaving three up for grabs.

Also, Martin Truex Jr. already has been declared the recipient of a 15-playoff point bonus as he’ll be the points leader after the Richmond race. Those 15 points are added to his already series-leading 37 playoff-point tally.

Chase Elliott, Matt Kenseth and Jamie McMurray head into the Richmond race in positions to make the playoff by virtue of points and are in a pretty comfortable position, as long as there isn’t a new 2017 winner Saturday night. The next driver in line, points-wise, is Clint Bowyer, 91 points behind McMurray, third among the aforementioned three drivers.

But if there is a new winner at Richmond, one of those three will be knocked out, and the driver on the outside looking in after the checkered flag could be any of the three. While they have a sizable cushion on Bowyer, they’re close to each other. The leader of the three, Elliott, is only two points ahead of Kenseth and three ahead of McMurray.

Here’s a look at the standings following the Sept. 3 Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway and heading into Saturday night’s regular-season finale at Richmond Raceway:
1. Martin Truex Jr. — 4 wins, 37 playoff points (52 with regular-season bonus added)
2. Kyle Larson — 3 wins, 18 playoff points
3. Jimmie Johnson — 3 wins, 16 playoff points
4. Kyle Busch — 2 wins, 20 playoff points
5. Denny Hamlin — 2 wins, 12 playoff points
6. Brad Keselowski — 2 wins, 14 playoff points
7. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. — 2 wins, 10 playoff points
8. Kevin Harvick — 1 win, 8 playoff points
9. Ryan Blaney — 1 win, 8 playoff points
10. Kurt Busch — 1 win, 5 playoff points
11. Ryan Newman — 1 win, 5 playoff points
12. Austin Dillon — 1 win, 5 playoff points
13. Kasey Kahne — 1 win, 5 playoff points
14. Chase Elliott — 737 points, 2 playoff points
15. Matt Kenseth — 735 points, 3 playoff points
16. Jamie McMurray — 734 points, 0 playoff points
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17. Clint Bowyer — 643 points, 1 playoff point
18. Erik Jones — 611 points, 0 playoff points
19. Joey Logano — 605 points (1 encumbered win), 1 playoff point

Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (facebook.com/nascarexaminer)

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Posted by on September 6, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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